Positively Paula

Get Inspired by Mrs. Delaware, a Stepmom on August 6

Thursday, July 26, 2012
Are you a stepmother who is trying to juggle many balls in the air at once? Can you benefit from a shot of inspiration? If so, don't miss my radio show interview on August 6 with the amazing Mrs. Delaware United States, Dr. Francine Edwards. She is a mom and stepmom to four children, an Associate Professor at Delaware State University, the newly crowned Mrs. Delaware, a novelist, and that's just a small piece of what she has accomplished. Her platform as Mrs. Delaware is all about supporting blended families...

Francine participated in the Mrs. United States Pageant on July 12, and in the national forum of the pageant, her platform spotlighted issues of blended families and stepparenting.  Unfortunately, she did not win the Mrs. United States title, but she is a winner in our view, and you can bet she won't be slowing down any time soon.  
You can read more about Francine Edwards in the RemarriageWorks article, "Mrs. Delaware Brings National Exposure to Blended Families." Join me on August 6, 8-9 p.m. EST for a motivating and lively discussion with Mrs. Delaware on the RemarriageWorks BlogTalkRadio show featured by Stepmoms Toolbox.


Why Cheer for the New Mrs. Delaware United States?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Let's hear some cheers for the newly crowned Mrs. Delaware United States! Francine Edwards, who was announced as the winner this month, happens to have a platform that certainly caught my attention. There are several interesting reasons why I am cheering. Not only is she an assistant professor at Delaware State University, but she also won at the age of 43 when many of her competitors were "mostly in their late 20s to early 30s,..." according to MiddletownTranscript.com. Drumroll, please... 
The biggest reason why I am rooting for Edwards is that her platform is "Blended and Blessed: Step Parent and Step Family Support," according to the MiddletownTranscript.com, "Townsend woman crowned winner of 2012 Mrs. Delaware United States." (photo of Francine Edwards by John Dodd)
This is one stepmom that I really hope to interview on my RemarriageWorks show on The Stepmom's Toolbox Network. And, according to the article, her strategy for the fitness part of the competition involved P90X with her husband. She had me on the first round of applause; P90X with her husband is just icing on the cake. Congratulations Mrs. Delaware! And, good luck at the annual Mrs. United States Pageant in August.  I'll be cheering for you as you help bring awareness to the needs of stepfamilies and blended families.  

Mother's Day 2012: My Favorite Picture

Monday, May 14, 2012
I hope all of you moms - whether you are a mom, stepmom, bonus mom, adoptive mom, grandmother, or foster mom - had a fabulous Mother's Day. In our blended family, we have two children who are now out of college, two in college, and one in high school.  We were fortunate to have had at least three of our five kids with us this year on Mother's Day. We wish we could spend time with all of them, but that is a rare occurrence as they are growing up and moving out on their own.  I thought I'd share my favorite Mother's Day photo this year with you.
This year we had our three sons with us at home. Here is my favorite picture of the day! How many of you can relate to this? 


And, here they are on our wedding day in 2003:
  

They are probably going to kill me for posting these, but I couldn't resist! We've had our ups and downs in our blended family like everyone else. We'll have many more. One thing is for sure. We absolutely love them all.

Vote on Free Second Wedding (aka Encore Wedding) Contest

Thursday, March 08, 2012
WINC FM is having a free wedding contest for people who are getting remarried after divorce or widowhood, and your vote is wanted! Six people have submitted a video explaining why they should win this free encore wedding giveaway, including a wedding gown for their second wedding, and the videos and stories are great! Vote for your favorite video until March 9. 
The winner of the fabulous free encore wedding, or second wedding will be announced at our upcoming Remarriage Showcase for Encore Brides on March 10 at 10 a.m. at River Creek Club in Leesburg, VA. Our Remarriage Showcases are the premier event for the remarrying bride (and groom!), and are designed for people preparing to remarry or form a stepfamily.  There will be all kinds of helpful resources and experts to help you with your second wedding, and remarried and/or stepfamily life. Registration is at RemarriageShowcase.com.
The winner will receive a fabulous free wedding package for their second, or encore wedding. Prizes include custom designed second wedding invitations, a luxe wedding experience package from A Splash of Elegance, a photography package from Jones Photography, reception music from Music Unlimited, coaching sessions from The Stepmom Coach, Claudette Chenevert, second wedding attire from Soliloquy Bridal Couture who has some of the most amazing wedding gowns I have ever seen, dinner for two at Maggiano's in Tyson's Corner, and a reception at the amazing Piedmont Club, a ClubCorp property.

Check out these wedding contest videos that people submitted to win a free second wedding (encore wedding), and vote today!  One of these lucky people will definitely have an extra special way of celebrating a second chance for happiness!


Tune in Tonight! Parenting Teens in Your Blended Family

Monday, March 05, 2012
Do you have teenagers in your stepfamily? Are you struggling with your spouse over parenting teenagers in your blended family? Tune in tonight at 8 pm EST to my RemarriageWorks show, "Parenting Teens in Your Blended Family." I'll be interviewing Al Betz, author of Outfluence, The Better Way to Influence, and founder of Outfluence LLC which offers coaching, training, and public speaking to teens, families and other audiences interested in improving communication. 

Al Betz is an entrepreneur, author, and a public speaker who believes in hard work, inspired performance, second chances, and always moving forward. Join us as Al offers tips and wisdom about understanding teens and communicating with them. 

There are five kids in our blended family.  At one time, four of our five kids were teenagers all at once. Looking back, I'm not sure how we survived! I'm eager to hear Al discuss some tips to help parenting and step-parenting teens go more smoothly. This topic ins't covered often enough. You can tweet your questions to us @RemarriageWorks. And, if you are going to be an instant stepmom or stepdad of a teenager, you may want to especially tune in so you know what to expect.


Win a FREE Second Wedding (aka Encore Wedding) from WINC FM!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Do you know anyone who is planning their second wedding? engaged to remarry? having an encore wedding in the next year or so? If you or anyone you know is planning to get married again after divorce or widowhood, you have to check out an exciting contest from WINC FM in northern VA/DC. WINC FM is giving away an encore wedding (aka second wedding). This could be a great way to start off on the right foot with your second chance for happiness! The contest package includes some fabulous prizes.

WINC FM, out of Winchester VA, our media sponsor for our upcoming Remarriage Showcase for Encore Brides, which will be held at River Creek Club in Leesburg, VA on March 10, is having an encore wedding giveaway on-line now!  Prizes include, but are not limited to: 
  • second wedding invitations custom-designed by Carla David Design
  • a Luxe Wedding Experience package from the extraordinary event planning company, A Splash of Elegance; 
  • wedding photography by Jones Photography
  • a wedding gown from the fabulous new bridal couture boutique, Soliloquy;  
  • flowers by Graceful Flowers;
  • music by Music Unlimited;
  • the fine venue Piedmont Club in Haymarket, VAa ClubCorp club; and, 
  • if you are going to have a stepfamily, four coaching sessions from The Stepmom Coach, Claudette Chenevert.  
Even if you aren't located in northern VA/DC, consider making it a destination second wedding! (Please note: travel and lodging are not included.) 
All you have to do is submit a video that is 30 seconds or less telling WINC FM why you deserve an encore wedding. If you or your fiance' have had some rough times, and I'm guessing you may have if one or both of you is getting remarried, check out this opportunity. 
WINC will be announcing the winning couple at our Remarriage Showcase for Encore Brides on March 10. 
And, for those of you who may be wondering.....
Q: How are second weddings any different from first weddings?
A: I invite you to check out my article, "Top 5 Reasons Why Remarrying Brides Deserve Their Own Bridal Show." 
Q:  What? Are you kidding me? What's up with RemarriageWorks.com, WINC FM and these sponsors? Are they promoting divorce?  
A:  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Here are the plain facts.  Nearly 100 million people in the U.S. are either considering remarriage after divorce or widowhood, or are already remarried. Over 1000 stepfamilies form daily. The divorce rate for second marriages is between 60-70%, and that rate is even higher than the divorce rate for first marriages. Our mission at RemarriageWorks.com is to help remarriages and stepfamilies succeed. Remarriage and stepfamily living and blending families can be a challenging road, an often very rewarding and joyful journey, but it can be very tough and often takes a lot of hard work. 
We want to make the remarriage journey a little easier for you by bringing you credible and valuable resources, inspiration, and hope with a positive twist!  If you like this, please spread the word about our efforts and WINC FM's encore wedding giveaway contest.  I really think the time is coming where we can start supporting healthy remarriages and stepfamilies from the start!


Tonight's Show: A Stepmom's Prerogative, Changing Her Mindset

Monday, January 02, 2012
Are you a stepmom struggling with stress or depression? Have you lost all hope of being happy or at peace as a stepparent? Did you know there's a possibility that you can start turning these feelings around today? You're not alone! Tune in to my RemarriageWorks.com radio show coming up tonight, January 2, 8-9 p.m. EST.  We'll be discussing some ways to start the new year off with new perspectives in your stepfamily life.  

My guest will be Renee Canali, The Mindset Coach and author of Life As An Onion: The Journey Back to Your Core. We'll explore how our stepchildren reflect back to us what we need to change or adopt in our relationship with them. Renee will share some family exercises to help you step into 2012 on the right foot. 

Tune in to the Stepmom's Toolbox mini-network on January 2 at 8 p.m. EST! You can change how you look at things today and feel a lot better! 

LeAnn Rimes, Gary Busey, and Huh? A Call for Better Stepmom Reporting!

Thursday, August 18, 2011
A couple of weeks ago I tweeted about People.com's "Caught in the Act!" column that opened with a picture of LeAnn Rimes, her husband Eddie Cibrian, and Eddie's sons. The piece consisted of four lines total, and the opening line was "What a good stepmom!" I tweeted about it, and I knew from LeAnn's tweets back to me that she wasn't too happy.

You see, I had tweeted, "'What a good stepmom!' for shopping w/ stepsons. More to being a good stepmom than shopping. Let's hear it." And, once again I learned a lesson about communicating on-line whether it be via email, Twitter, or whatever else. Most of us have had the experience of our thoughts and even feelings being interpreted differently than we had intended.

Here's the real point I wanted to make in my tweet, and I am so thrilled that I have more than Twitter's 140 characters in which to say it. I wish the media would cover remarriage and stepfamilies in a more positive way. (By the way, I just tweeted the preceding sentence because it fit into a tweet.) 

That paragraph that opened with "What a good Stepmom!" didn't really do justice to what LeAnn or the majority of stepmothers do every day for their stepchildren. It pointed out that: their family was enjoying a shopping outing; she was wearing leopard print shorts while browsing; she ran into Gary Busey; and, she returned to the area for a romantic meal with her husband later that day.  That's it!

I'm just not getting how the opening line connects in any way with the rest of the paragraph. Good stepmoms do more than shop with their stepkids, and I think the column contributed to the unfair picture of remarriage and stepfamilies that is often painted. (Read more about this in my column entitled, "On ReMarriage: Hollywood Paints an Unfair Picture" in The Washington Times.)

I'm pretty certain that LeAnn Rimes, like most other stepmoms, did a lot more that day to be a good stepmom than what was portrayed. And, regardless of what people think about her, her marriage and the circumstances in her and her family's personal lives, which I was quickly informed about by people whom I doubt even know her in a flurry of Twitter activity, my point was and is this:

Attention media! Let's please hear more about the positive, inspiring, loving things that stepmothers do every day for their stepchildren. I'm not looking for "The Brady Bunch" model, nor am I trying to be a Pollyanna. But, when will the media provide us a broader range of views of stepfamily and remarried life?

I  invite LeAnn Rimes and the millions of other stepmothers to join me in calling for a shift in the way media covers stepmoms. Let's talk about about stepfamily life, its challenges, and more importantly, real solutions.

For Moms and Stepmoms: Peace Starts at Home Summit

Thursday, April 14, 2011
On August 2, 2010 I blogged here about hosting a National Stepfamily Summit which will raise awareness of stepfamilies' needs, celebrate stepfamily life, let stepfamilies know they are supported, identify problems and more importantly, SOLUTIONS to stepfamily challenges. I am planning this summit for early 2013. It's going to be big so stay tuned!

In the meantime, there is another unique event you should know about. Have you heard about Peace Starts at Home, a summit for bringing mothers and stepmothers together? 

Peace Starts at Home, "dedicated to the idea that bringing mothers and stepmothers together, will create greater peace and a healthy environment for children of divorced parents," was created by Ellen Gottlieb. It will be held on May 18 in Brooklyn, NY and will feature a play, "illustrating how gridlock between a mom and stepmom can be broken" and a panel of experts.

I'm really excited to be on the panel of experts, along with Jennifer Newcomb Marine, co-author of No One's the Bitch; A Ten Step Plan for the Mother and Stepmother Relationship; Jeanette Lofas, Ph.D., LCSW, Founder and President of the Stepfamily Foundation; and Brenda Ockun, publisher of Stepmom Magazine; to discuss issues related to mother-stepmother relationships. 

I love Ellen's concept. And, I've read the featured play, The Other Mother, by Isidore Elias. You won't want to miss this. This play is truly unique and eye-opening, and it isn't just for stepmoms and moms. I think everyone that is connected to a stepfamily would benefit from understanding the dynamics of the mother-stepmother relationship.

Mohandas Ghandi said, "If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children." (source of quote) 

Thank you, Ellen for reminding us that peace must start in our own homes.


Fascinating Stepmom Art: You May Not Believe Your Eyes

Thursday, February 24, 2011
I want to share one of the most unique things about stepmothers that I have ever come across on the internet with you. The Other Mother website is dedicated to stepmothers "for all that you do...and have been put through..." by artist and stepmother Karen Piovaty. Karen warns viewers, "Enter with caution! The faint of heart need not apply to the world of stepmotherhood."

I admit up front I have no background in the study of art. I can tell you I find her exhibit compelling. The pictures struck several chords in me, evoked emotion, and made me stop to think about my own stepmom experience. On top of that, I started thinking about stepmotherhood in our society in general. 

And, don't miss the accompanying essay, "Disturbing the Piece(s): Re-Viewing the Role of 'the Other Mother'" by Jane E. Hindman, Professor, Department of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, San Diego State University.

I've talked about having a future National Stepfamily Summit, and wouldn't it be great to have this artwork displayed there? Take a look and let me know what you think. 


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